Saturday 31 October 2015

Fluffier Than Any Cloud In The Sky | Boomf Marshmallow Review


So a while ago, I went to NW meet which you can read about here. I won some Boomf marshmallows which I am going to talk about today,

Boomf are a business that started up a couple of years ago. The whole concept of the business is that you can order bespoke marshmallows which you can personalise with whatever pictures you want. For example, pictures of you and your partner for an anniversary or of yourself and your friends for a friends birthday etc etc. Kate Middleton's brother owns the company which surprised me when I found out. The flavours that you can get are either Double Vanilla or Strawberry and comes at a price of £15 for 9.

I spent a long time choosing which pictures I wanted on top of my marshmallows. In the end I decided to choose a mixture of selfies, Lush products and pictures/selfies with a couple of people from a while ago. I also decided to get a personal message with my package just in case my day wasn't going that well when I received them. I then punched in my code and then clicked Done. As it was a free code, this stopped me from needing to punch in my card details which is always a bonus when it comes to ordering things online. I then got a few more emails which said that if I wanted to change anything then I had 15 minutes to do so before the website finalised my order.

Fast forward to a few days later, I get in from college and see that there is a parcel on the side for me. I open it and instantly realise that it is my Boomf package. The box was packaged in a sort of cardboard photo frame which I think is a nod to the photos on the marshmallows. The box had a cute design on it. I open the box and see that the photos I had chosen were printed as a collection of actual photos which means that I can keep this as a memento and just to have a look at now and again and then below this was the actual marshmallows which looked exactly the same as the photos. The colours of the photos on the marshmallows were as bright as the actual photos and as they were on instagram they looked exactly the same on my Instagram account.

On the website, they say that they can be kept up to three months if you don't take them out of the packaging that they come in or a few days when you do take them out of the packaging. I left them a week until I decided to finally open them and eat one whilst I was doing a blog post in college because well I need energy especially to write and especially to even get up to travel to college.

The texture of them are fluffy and spongy. Texture wise you get your moneys worth. The taste of them was very vanillary. It reminded mainly of a Vanilla Cupcake candle from Yankee Candle which sounds weird but they did. If they had flecks of Vanilla Bean in then I think they would have been the absolute king of marshmallows. I even put one in with a hot chocolate before bed and it gave the drink a luxurious feel and gave off its vanilla aroma to the drink.

On the whole, these are an amazing gift to give someone if they love marshmallows and you want to celebrate something big. They taste amazing and are such a personal gift to give someone. It's also quite fun to get one of someone and then rip it apart but thats just me. I personally wouldn't pay the price they are but I understand why they are the price they are. I would give them an 8.5/10 if I was rating them.

 I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post. If you click on Boomf throughout this post then it will send you to their website. Have you tried Boomf before? If so then let me know down below! Do you enjoy me talking about food/food reviews? If so then let me know down below so I know to do more food orientated posts. I hope to see you next time for another blog post.

Jamie x

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Cider Tasting Event | Blind Pig Event at The Maven Leeds With Michelle & Luke


Last week, I brought my friend Michelle and Luke to an event that was in Leeds. I thought I would tell you all about it and mention my friend Michelle a good few times as she takes some amazing photos. If you click on Michelle's name throughout the post then it should send you to her Flickr where you can check out her photos.

The brand's concept is all about bringing the 1920's to the current era (a quote says that its based on 1920 speakeasies) via influencing the drinks on what would be the sophistication of society back then or something along those lines. The brand consists of three different ciders which all have other spirit flavours within the drinks but doesn't contain said spirit. The bottles of the cider are 500ml vintage brown bottles which may be a nod to back then and are priced at £4.95. The brand name is apparently to do with the whole 1920's concept but don't quote me on that.

I met my friend Michelle on the day and we made our way to the train station to catch the train to Leeds. Myself, Michelle and Luke ed and slightly ranted about anything and everything as we normally do when getting on a train to Leeds. We got into Leeds and made our way to Roast + Conch as we had came into Leeds a bit too early. We looked at the new Halloween range and tried the taste of the month which is a Butterscotch truffle with a red oozing centre for Halloween. We exited the store and made our way to Lush as Michelle hadn't smelt the new things. Let's just say we spent a lot of time and Michelle spent a lot of money restocking her Lush collection...

We made our way to Corn Exchange as The Maven's twitter had told me where to go to find them. We still got lost trying to find it which ended up in Michelle wandering to find it. Whilst she did that, we found Kariss and her friend who sadly I can't remember the name of because my memory isn't that great when it comes to new faces. (Sorry!)

We instantly realised that it was straight behind us which then led to us going 'ohhhhh' and making our way up the stairs to the venue space that the event was in. I said my name and got given a leaflet which was essentially a press release telling me about Blind Pig and what to expect throughout the night. There wasn't that many seats/tables for the amount of people that were in the room so we kind of felt quite lost where to sit or what to really do. The lighting was quite dim which may have been to do with the 1920's theme. The music that was on in the background proved this theory but was quite loud which made it near impossible to network or socialise.

We thought that it would be best to just spend our time at the bar. We read the press release to ensure we knew what the flavours consisted of. I ordered Bourbon & Blueberry, Luke ordered Rum and Poached Pear and Michelle chose the one that was remaining which was Whiskey, Honey and Apple. By the end of the night we had tried all three each.

The Bourbon and Blueberry was served in a green glass which was Blind Pig branded but was also served over ice with a handful of blueberries that were dispersed throughout the drink and with a twist of lemon peel/zest on the rim of the glass. The bourbon was distinctive but didn't take centre stage with the drink therefore letting the blueberry do all the talking. I love blueberries so I knew that I would love this one. The sweetness of the blueberries were complimented well with the Bourbon which made a great mixture but Blueberries are naturally quite sweet sometimes so if you don't like your cider on the sweet side and prefer a sharp drink then this one might not the best Blind Pig Cider for you.

I then had the Whiskey, Honey and Apple. This was served in the same glasses as above. This one was served over ice with wedges of apple and a drizzle of honey. An orange wedge is served on the side of the rim to add to the drink if you feel like it needs a citrus kick to it. I ended up eating/licking the orange wedge because I'm normal like that. I shall provide the picture to that below. The Whiskey takes most of the attention on this one. The honey isn't really a distinctive taste but adds sweetness to the drink which slightly takes the edge off the drink leaving it sharp but not to the point where its too much after two gulps of the drink. The apple adds a slight bit of freshness to the drink but takes a while to be detected when drinking. I think this is one of those every now and again ones for me.

The last one of the three is the Rum and Poached Pear which I enjoyed last. This one was amazing! It was served with the regular ice but had Lime and Mint running all the way through it to echo a modern mojito. I love Mojitos so I instantly loved this. The rum did take most of the attention again but the Pear added that slight tang of sweetness needed. I could see myself enjoying this one a lot with friends as it's probably as lovely without the Mint and Lime running throughout it which steeped some of its flavour into the drink. I literally did save the best till last.

Throughout the night me and Michelle took many pictures and had such a laugh. We talked about everything over the loud music and enjoyed a lot of giggles. I also talked and met The Dress Diaries and even though I only chatted to her for a sec she seemed so lovely! Myself, Luke and Michelle made our way to the train station where we enjoyed a McFlurry and enjoyed the quieter atmosphere and talked about anything and everything until I hugged and said goodbye to Michelle and got on my train home.

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post. If you've tried any of the ciders then let me know down below. If not then tell me if you would try them or not. I hope that you like the pictures that Michelle took. If you want to see her stuff then click on Michelle's name on any of the paragraphs above this one. If you want to check out any of the people that I have mentioned then click on their names on the paragraphs above this paragraph. Thank you to the PR and Blind Pig who put this event on and I hope to see you next time for another blog post.

Thanks to Michelle again for taking the pictures. All of the pictures are hers.

Kind Regards
Jamie x

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Diary Of A Meowing Lushie: Odango Solid Shampoo, American Cream Conditioner & Tangled Hot Oil Treatment | Hair Care Review


So todays blog post is going to be about well what it says on the title. Hair Care but in specific a solid shampoo and a conditioner which is well known to other Lushies. If you've never bought anything from the hair care range at Lush then this post may help you slightly.

The pictures that are within this blog post will be from Google/Lush's website due to the fact that I only got the sample form of the products so I can't really get pictures of used little samples.

So when I went to Ox St, I went to their hair lab which is within their store. This is a section of the store where you can try some things from the hair care range and as I have never tried anything from the hair care range I thought I would try it in store and basically at the end of the trial they gave me some samples to take home and try.

The first thing that they gave me was Odango Solid Shampoo. They used the Hairy McClairy Solid Shampoo so I was slightly confused when I got this but ah well I still used it. Odango contains Honeysuckle and Rose Petal which makes up the scent of this product. There are also rose petals within the bar which make it look ultra pretty. There is also Chamomile Oil within the product which soothes the scalp. There is also a lot of other oils which include Lavender Oil and Orange Flower Oil which give a nourishing effect on the scalp. It's a great one for those who dye their a lot (eg me who dyes his hair Cosmic Blue - black with an oversheen coat of Blue which can be detected when light hits it.) as it doesn't fade the colour but instead makes it brighter and glossier to the eye. Click here if you want to buy Odango.

It's at the top as I wanted it as my featured image but this is what you get when you buy Odango. It has such a cute top layer.
The conditioner that I got given was American Cream. This is the highest selling product within Lush beating all the bath products put together and I understand why. This conditioner is inspired via 1950's American milkshakes therefore it has a Strawberry and Vanilla infusion to make the product smell like authentic milkshakes. This also makes the hair soft and shiny. The Strawberries have Vitamin C in which we all need but also cleanse the hair via thee oils within the Strawberries I think. Theres also Lavender in there which is amazing for the skin and hair, it balances out the oils in your skin and soothes the scalp which is amazing for people who sometimes have an irritated scalp or anything like that. The scent of the product is amazing. When I use it, I always end up wanting people to sniff my hair because well you have to share the scent with someone. Its a mixture of parma violets and strawberries in my opinion. I do find that it does what it needs to do but as my hair can be that dry sometimes I end up sticking a leave in conditioner on top just to ensure that it's fully nourished. It's so creamy and I can see why it's one of Lush's most sold products. Click here if you want to buy American Cream.

If your hair is sometimes very very dry like mine then you can also use the hot oil treatments that Lush do. I got given one on the day but I haven't used it mainly because I feel like I should use it before an event or when I really really need to use it as they nourish the hair that much and because I normally don't have the time to leave anything in my hair for long. (I end up having to plan when I dye my hair to ensure I'm not too busy.) I got given the Tangled one due to my hair not being damaged according to the Lush staff.

The product takes a good half an hour so its best to ensure that you have the time before using it. You boil some water in a kettle and put the product into a mug or an empty Lush black pot if possible, Add a small amount of water and start mixing the product via the stick with the water, you'll probably need more water (about 200ml if I'm right?) mix until there is no more product left on the stick and you have a thick creamy emulsion in the pot/mug. Apply to dry hair and leave for a good 20 minutes or more as this time will allow the oils to do the magic on your hair. Rinse and then do what you normally do with your shampoo. I doubt you will need conditioner as the oil does all the conditioning for you.

The product contains Rosewood and Ylang Ylang which tames the hair. The oil treatment contains Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Jojoba Oil which help the hair's strength and makes it easier to comb through. The scent of it is mainly citrus via the Orange Flower Absolute and the Ylang Ylang that is in the product. I love the scent and it makes the product smell like a nice field within the Summer.

I haven't used it yet due to timing and other reasons as they do cost around £6 per product so I feel like it is a luxurious product for the price. If I do use it then I will probably let you know via a little blog post or probably a Tweet or something. If you've used a Hot Oil Treatment then let me know in the comments section down below. Click here if you want to buy Tangled.

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post. If you've used any of the products mentioned above then let me know down below or via Social Media. I hope that you have enjoyed this Diary Of A Meowing Lushie post (let me know if you want these on more of a regular basis) and I hope to see you next time for another blog post.


Monday 26 October 2015

Meeting Ryan Terry at Predator Nutrition Leeds | Joe Blogs Event


So, as I said in my last post, I haven't really published anything for a while due to many reasons but this hasn't stopped me from going to events. It just means that I have no clue when someone will go up so I could write something a month after it has happened.

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Joe Blogs to an event at the Predator Nutrition store in The Light in Leeds which was to celebrate Ryan Terry and Heather Schofield coming to the store to showcase the store and to sign some posters and to take some pictures. (I tried getting a lot of pictures but I spent the day talking to the other bloggers that came which were Caroline, Lizi and Jenna.)

One of the members of the staff within the store came up to us and asked who we were, we said our names and she disappeared to go get us our goodie bags. The same member of staff came back and then gave us a tour of the store telling us about all of the products that were sold at the store including protein bats, special nut butters, whey powders, protein enhanced ice cream and many other things.

We talked for quite a while about everything from blogging, events and other many many things and then wandered around until we found a cardboard cut out of Ryan which led to a good five minutes or so of swooning over it. We kept talking and wandered about a bit more until Jenna came which led to more talking and swooning.

We then went over to the corner where there was a competition going on where you had to try and hold a 2kg bucket for as long as possible. I didn't have a go but Lizi and Caroline had a go and they did amazing and probably a lot longer than I could probably carry it for. We laughed and then went over to talk to Ryan about his life and how he got to where he is nowadays. He also talked about the fact that he comes from Leeds and talked about the evolution of Leeds over the last few years.

So I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post and I hope to see you next time for another post. If you want to read the post that Predator Nutrition wrote about the event then click here to read it.

The pictures are all provided by the link that is presented above and are not mine.

Jamie x

Sunday 25 October 2015

Diary Of A Meowing Lushie : Lime Pastille Bath Oil Review


So I know that I haven't done anything Lush based for a few weeks so I thought I would come back with the Lush series via an Oxford Street exclusive. I may stop the videos and just do posts for my lush series. Would that be a good idea? Let me know in the comments below!

Today I am going to be talking about the Lime Pastille Bath Oil which you can only get via going to the Oxford Street store. You may also be able to get it on the website but I'm not entirely sure.

This oil is like the other oils in the fact that they consist of an Jojoba, Shea Butter and Coconut Oil base which gives the oil a very luxurious and creamy feel when you first touch it. This also gives softening and nourishing properties to the bath when it is dropped into the water. The product also contains Lime Oil which obviously gives the oil its primary lime scent. The product also contains Lemon Oil which makes the product more citrus based which enhances the lime scent.

Unlike a ballistic (bath bomb) a bath oil doesn't give any surprises to the bath such as confetti or anything like that but instead gives a nourishing feel to the bath. They do bath melts at most stores but these bath oils from Oxford St are different due to them being more compact, cheaper and more vibrant which makes them a great alternative to a ballistic if you want something a bit more soothing to the skin.

When you first drop this ball into water it doesn't really do much which may seem a bit disappointing but give it time and you will see the effects. The oil leaks out of the product and slowly melts into the water giving the bath a great distinct product. As this kinda takes a while, I would either get some products such as face masks or whatnot ready whilst this is happening. As well as the colour melting into the water, the scent erupts from the bath giving a strong scent to the bathroom. The scent and colour latch onto the water which then sinks into your skin whilst you bathe.

The lime scent is slightly strong but its not to the point where it is overwhelming which is great for when you want something which will motivate you but not to the point where it is quite nauseating. The Lime works quite well with the Lemon Oil to create a bright zesty scent which will make you want to get up within the morning and do things especially when it is cold. There is also a lustre-y sugary coating which makes it look like a fruit pastille which some people will want to eat but its not edible. I think from what I remember makes a slightly shimmer effect within the water but not too much to make you not want to buy it again.

Overall I would give this a 9/10 mainly because of it being an Ox St exclusive and the size of it. The scent is amazing and uplifting and it nourishes the skin really well but I wouldn't go all the way to London just to buy another, It is a great product to have something in the morning and not use a body butter afterwards which may save on time and a bit of money. The colour is so PopArt inspired and just makes you look at it and watch where the swirls have incorporated into the water and just think about things. I would buy it again if it was on the website or at the local Lush.

I hope that you have enjoyed this Diary Of A Meowing Lushie post and I hope to see you again for another blog post. Have you used this proudct before? Let me know in the comments below. I hope to see you next time for another blog post!

Jamie x

Saturday 24 October 2015

How Do You Overthrow A Dictator? You Cut Off Her Resources | Rant


Sorry that I haven't posted for a while. I've had college which has meant essays and all things studious which has tired me out which then meant I ended up napping from being tired and then not writing any posts because well I was napping. Anyhow, I'm back for the minute! This blog post is a rant post but I'm going to try and word this post well which basically means I'll try and not swear as much but lets see how that goes.

So if you're a blogger and check your Twitter on a regular basis like I do then you will know that some drama went down this week. If you're not a blogger then you will have probably heard about what has gone on this week. @LilBlondeSammie who is also a blogger caused a lot of controversy on Twitter when she decided to tweet her 'opinion' on Twitter about the Channel 4 TV show 'My Big Fat Wedding.' She decided to tweet her opinion and then insult others based on their opinion. She also then decided to shut down any persons opinions and shove her own deluded opinion down everyones throats or eyes as Twitter is Social Media not direct conversation.

Her opinion was that plus size is becoming the norm as a TV show is showing plus sized citizens and therefore glamorising obesity and making it the norm within society. She also believed that being plus sized is only caused by eating and basically you can not become plus sized if you exercise and eat 'salads'. She also then went on to talk/frankly trigger eating disorders, generalise people, insult people and not spell any of her points correctly.

I joined in with the 'debate' at something past midnight because I felt like I wanted to make a point to her and I wanted to back Faith up as her point was completely valid, I said something which Faith backed up and then after that it just got out of hand where every tweet became 'yes but that wouldn't happen if they didn't eat so much' 'its their fault' 'eating kills you' sort of tweets to the point where I gave up trying to get across my point.

You shouldn't generalise one point, you shouldn't insult or offend others if you know its happening, You shouldnt do anything that LilBlondeSammie did to get her point across because then you're being a vile person to a community which is full of lovely people.

LilBlondeSammie is a vile vile person and doesn't deserve to even be in the blogging community to be honest. I know you may say you're saying that but you're giving her publicity. That may be true but I am giving her publicity so we can stop what is going on. She has fat shamed, triggered people, insulted people, annoyed people, offended some and a list of others whilst still thinking that her one single point is valid for the whole topic that she was trying to cover. It is not and this is what leads me to my blog title.

How do you actually overthrow someone when they are being absolutely vile? You cut off their resources! That may not be fully accessible to LilBlondeSammie but you can do your best. Block and report her, stand up for your point and lastly take no shit from nobody. If she tries to contact you from any other forms of Social Media block it and report it. I want to show that this dictator wont be one for much longer.

I'm sorry that I've ranted/rambled/not made sense. I hope you've enjoyed this blog post and I hope to see you next time for another blog post. Leave your comments down below. Also a big up to anyone who is plus sized. You're amazing!

Jamie x

Saturday 17 October 2015

What To Do In Leeds For People Who Don't Know Leeds

So if you read this blog then you will know that I am in Leeds on a regular basis to a point where it is ridiculous but I know that some people still get lost within Leeds and I fully understand due to the grand train station for a start so I thought that it would be nice if I did a sort of guide to Leeds blog post just in case some of you want to look at it or need it at any point.

So first of all, shopping. Leeds is the third largest city within the UK therefore shopping can be a busy affair especially if you have no clue where you're going. The first place to shop is Trinity Leeds which you can't miss even if it's your first time in Leeds. This shopping centre is a couple of minutes walk away from the train station and has a massive T on the side of it so even if you're coming from somewhere on the other side of the UK you'll instantly recognise it. The centre contains many shops such as H&M, Burton, Moss Bros, Apple and many other places. You can spend a good few hours just window shopping here!

The second place that I would recommend shopping wise is Victoria Quarter. I didn't know about here until this year to be absolutely honest. I had past it and been in it a couple of times to get out of Harvey Nicbols but otherwise I stayed away from it. With a glass doors and a feature fountain the middle of the building, VQ is an absolute masterpiece to shop in especially with shops such as Vivienne Westwood, Jo Malone London, L'Occitane, Reiss, Oliver Sweeney and much more. It is a high end sort of mall but its an absolute wonder to wander through and to have a look at some of the products within certain stores.

There's also the quirky markets throughout Leeds but there is also Corn Exchange which is the more quirkier place within Leeds. This is a Grade I listed building from what I remember which gives you the feeling of history as you're learning just via looking at the building. This boasts quirky stores which includes a Tattoo & Piercing Store, a few clothing stores and an American candy store (Culture Vulture.)

If you're going for something to just eat then Trinity Kitchen with Trinity Leeds is an amazing place to go as there is so many different pop up vendors every month that you'll find something that you love instantly. Trinity Kitchen has a few stay there vendors which includes noodle based Pho and rib based Chicago Rib Shack. The street food vibe adds to the whole shopping centre to give it a fashionable yet amazing edge.

If you're fancying more mainstream but still with a twist then Five Guys might be for you with their well known burgers, fries and shakes which is a few minutes walk from the train station. Five Guys also boasts a Coca Cola Freestyle service which has over 100 different drinks from what I remember and as it's unlimited you can have as much as you want and create whatever drink you want.

If you're wanting somewhere more drinks and maybe a meal with some friends sort of places then I shall suggest some to you whicb may tickle your fancy. The first one is The Alchemist. They are most well known for their scientific/alchemy based cocktails where they conjure up magical things such as a Mad Hatters Tea Party to share or a cocktail which changes colours or one that even changes flavours. They also do some amazing food to soak up all that alcohol too. The atmosphere of the restaurant is phenomenal and it just makes an amazing place for a night out with your friends especially as there is now one in Trinity Leeds and one coming on Greek Street.

 The next place that I would recommend is the Blackhouse which I have done a post about which I'll link at the bottom. The view from the restaurant is stunning. They are more known as a steakhouse which means that their Steak and Ribs are exceptional. They also do some amazing drinks if you want something to drink whilst chatting with your friends such as Spiced Passion Fruit Mojito. They are only a couple of minutes walk away from Trinity Leeds.

The last place that I would suggest food and drink wise is Black Swan. They're based next to Corn Exchange and do some amazing food and cocktails. I've also done a blog post about them as well. Their burgers are fab and they have two floors so if you want to chat and drink then theres a floor for that and if you want food then theres a floor for that too. It's an amazing place to have a drink and maybe some food with friends and then move onto the other bars that are on the same street which include the wonder Jake's Bar, Oporto and The Maven and other great places.

So I hope that you have enjoyed this little guide of Leeds. Have you been to any of the above? Would you add anything different? Let me know down below. I hope that you have enjoyed this and I hope to see you next time for another blog post.

I was asked to mention the Leeds Guide that Daniel Footwear did as a gesture. No money or products were given in exchange for this. I just thought it would be a good thing to do. I'll leave Daniel Footwear's website down below as they do some amazing products and also have a student discount and are based in Leeds!

Read The Blog Post With The Leeds Guide here:

Check out their website here

Read the blog Post About The Blackhouse here

Read the blog Post About Black Swan here:

Jamie x

Monday 12 October 2015

Margarita Time! | Trinity Leeds Student Lock In With Michelle


All the photos in this post were taken by my good friend Michelle. She's the female within the picture above. I wanted one of Trinity on the night but due to it being 'that' busy we decided not to. The reason that this post is going up now is due to wanting a picture which Trinity Leeds' Twitter said they would send over and I wanted this post to go up so I could crack on with other ones so yeah. If you want to see any of Michelle's womderful work then I will leave links at the bottom of the post and a link to the Roxy Lanes Leeds post which also has her work/perfect photos in. 

So last week, I went to the student lock in within Trinity Leeds and thought I would tell you about it.

I decided to go with my good friend Michelle who went with me to Roxy Lanes Leeds in February. If you want to see that post then I shall put the link to it at the bottom of the page.

We got on the train and decided to catch up on certain things like we normally do when we get on the train to Leeds together. We talked about everything from college to Lush and everything in between. When we got to Leeds Train Station, Michelle decided to go to Starbucks and get a Iced Caramel Macchiato. As I don't have a great relationship with caffeine I decided not to get anything from Starbucks.

We walked up from the train station to Trinity Leeds as we were planning on meeting some people when we got to the queue to get in for the student lock in but we took a slight detour and popped into Hotel Chocolat: Roast + Conch. If you know me at all then you will know that I love Hotel Chocolat as they do dark chocolate so less chance of intolerance and all the flavours are amazing. The store was open only for the students so we walked in and I went to go show Michelle some of the items that I have told her about before which include the Chocolate Pasta, Mojito Truffles and the Carrot Cake Truffles. We were then offered some Chocolate Puddles which are basically chocolate buttons with a gooey chocolate filling and some seriously luscious salted caramel hot chocolate. We were also offered Rum within our hot chocolate but I declined as I felt that it was slightly too early to be drinking Rum. We also registered to win a chocolate hamper that was worth over £50 of chocolate. I had another look around and decided to walk up to meet the other people.

We walked up the hill and cut through Trinity Leeds to get the queue. We found the other people and waited in the queue which took a while. A remix of a Lana Del Rey song was blaring throughout the open space which I loved. After a while, we actually got inside with our student wristbands and made our way throughout the stores.

We ended up waiting on the ground floor which consists of Pulp and other places. We waited for another friend Nicole and then when she arrived we made our way to Pulp. We looked around the store until Michelle found a dress that was on sale that she liked. She decided to buy it whilst I went to see if there was any new band tees. We then decided to get in the long queue and talk for a little longer. We got to the till where someone I knew was on the till so I decided to chat to them for a bit before freeing up the queue and exiting the store.

We then decided to go to Primark. Primark didn't have any offers unlike Pulp which had 20% off but it was open all night which made up for the no offers. We went in and looked at the clothes. We lost some of the other people and tried looking for them. On the way, we looked at some more clothes but then after a long long while, I ended up finding something that Michelle loved and was on reduced therefore she bought that and then Nicole decided to get something. After worrying about the other people, we decided to go to Trinity Kitchen as we thought they might be there for a drink or something.

We then ended up going on a walk to try and find them. When we went on our adventure, we ended up outside which then lead to passing Lush. Michelle asked me if we should go in which then lead to a f*** it moment. We went in and I told Michelle about the new range as she had only seen some of it online. I then ended up acting as her personal Lush expert and told her/showed her all the new stuff which then lead into getting a basket and filling it for her... What are friends for, eh? We then noticed that there was a member of staff in a corner of the store whilst a lovely person was playing the guitar and singing. The member of staff was creating Butterball Bath Ballistics and asked if we wanted to make up with the costs going to charity which came out to £1. (£1 for a bath ballistic is amazing. I'm going to talk about it in more detail via my DOAML series.) We then left the Lush store and made our way up to McDonalds where we found the other people.

We found the people and chatted for a bit when someone had done something which caused the music within McDonalds to stop. The police announced something and then ended up reassuring us that everything was fine... That was a fun moment.

Myself and Michelle decided to go back into Trinity for the search of food and drink. We found Krispy Kreme handing out free products but the queue was massive so we ended up getting some free Fosters Rocks: Spiced Rum which is a Spiced Rum flavoured Lager. We then made our way to Victoria Secrets to have a look which then led us to the Frozen Margaritas that Cielo Blanco were serving. Michelle decided to get a Strawberry one for us to share as it reminded Michelle of past holidays.

I then decided to get two bottles of Coke and headed off to my train. Myself and Michelle hugged goodbye and we went our separate ways.

So that was my night out at the Trinity Leeds Student Lock In and I hope you have had fun reading this. Did you go to the Trinity Leeds Student Lock In? Have you been to any student events lately? Let me know down below! I hope to see you next time for another blog post!

Michelle's Flickr:
Michelle's Twitter:
Roxy Lanes Leeds With Michelle Post:

See What Went Down On The Night Here:

Jamie x

Friday 9 October 2015

Am I A 'Blogger' Or Am I Just A Person Who Writes Their Opinions? | Rant


Today's blog post is a kind of rant which I have been wanting to write for quite a while. I don't know if or how many 'bloggers' I will offend with this post but I want to actually talk about the term blogger. If I do offend you then I am very very sorry but yeah it's something I have wanted to write for quite a while.

So, I've been blogging for over a year now and I have formed friends within the blogging community who class themselves as a blogger but what exactly is a blogger? I think that a blogger is someone that's highly well known within the blogging community with high stats and a lot of followers etc but most of you think differently and I think that you need to take a step back and realise what a blogger truly means. My great friend Lizi did a post kind of summing up what I'm talking about which I'm going to be talking about which I will link at the end of the post.

Everyone thinks that a blogger is basically who Zoella is. An amazing person who has it all. They get free stuff, they sit on their arse all day and do whatever whenever, they can spend loads on beauty products to review them and maybe one day get their own range or something, get loads of brands worshipping them etc and it's not like that at all.

First of all, yes free stuff is a massive perk for bloggers but its not definite and sometimes people don't really class it as 'free stuff'. You get the item from a brand sometimes to review, you then have to take several pictures to ensure you've got a good enough one to entice readers into reading the post, you have to write, edit, read, re edit, re read it, ensure its perfect, insert any pictures needed, add any links and then make sure things like SEO are set up etc and then publish and share it so its kind of just a good gesture from the brand for doing this all work for them. Most of the time, if I want to review something in particular then I will wait until it's on sale/an offer and buy it then as I don't have money to spend on things to review 24/7 so it doesn't feel that bad. I do the same if I buy something that isn't on sale. I review it so I don't feel like I've wasted a lot of money on the item. That's why I'm doing my Lush series (which shall be back next week.)

Sitting On Their Arse. Right, bloggers don't sit on their arses/ I barely left the house to be honest before blogging and now I go out most of the time due to being invited to some blogger events. I have built my confidence thanks to blogging! I'm also out more to shop even if it's just to get literally one product. I've gone places to take some photos. I've catched up with bloggers. (What was my point? Ah yes!) People who have a blog are very very busy people who don't spend their time sat on their arse doing nothing then think I'll write a blog post because I've got nothing else to do now... I know people who fit in blogging when they can which may mean around looking after children, working, college, important things.

Last thing that I am going to rant about is the money. Yes, the money. People think that it's easy to make money from a blog and it really isn't. I have to wait for someone to authorise that your blog is worthy and presentable for it to make money and then ad's appear on your blog but these ads only raise a very very small amount of money everytime you read a blog or a specfic post. There are other ways to make money which is via sponsored posts with a brand but most of the time again its not for enough money for you to become famous. It's probably enough money to get some new product to review about and the bad thing is that its never really something that fits with your blog at first until you become well known page view wise or you have to lie and say that you've not been paid or anything to get more money out of it. Most people don't go full time with their blogging unless they have a lot of views etc and know they can make an income out of it.

So, am I a blogger or just a person who says their opinions to the world? I think I'm just a writer within the blogging community which makes me a blogger of that sort. Am I ever going to become famous from blogging and earn loads of money? Probably not. Can I have fun from blogging and take it as it comes? Definitely. Can I tell everyone and show them that blogging isn't what they expect it to be. Of course I can!

I hope you have enjoyed this post. If you have anything to add to the above then comment down below. I hope you've enjoyed reading this little rant and I'll see you next time hopefully for another blog post.

Lizi's Post on Blogging:

Jamie xz

Saturday 3 October 2015

Cheekily Jumping Straight Onto The Leaves | Black Swan Leeds Autumn Menu Tasting Event


So around a week ago I went into Leeds because  I was invited to try out the new Autumn menu at Black Swan and I thought I would tell you all about it.

I met Luke in Bradford town centre on the Thursday afternoon as I finished college at four and it was easier for him to meet me instead of going home to come back into town to catch the train. We got on the train to Leeds and talked about things that happened throughout the day. Now as I always end up getting lost when it comes to events within Leeds, I decided to go on an adventure to find it and I slowly realised that it was in front of my eyes and I had past the street that Black Swan was on every time I have been in Leeds.

We entered the restaurant and like normal had no clue what we were meant to do so we asked the bar staff on the ground floor who told us that the event was happening on the first floor so we made our way up the grand stairs to the floor where the event was happening which was filled with booths and chairs. We made our way over to a table/a beautiful booth where some bloggers were sitting down.

 We talked to them for a while and then the bartender came over. I got a drink for Luke and then he wandered off so I couldn't get one sadly. This cocktail was an Amaretto Sour from what I remember which meant this cocktail contained Disaronno Amaretto, Lemon, Sugar and Egg White. I tried a tiny bit and I could instantly tell the amaretto which combined with the sugar and lemon made it a bit more vibrant without making you think that you could only handle one of these. The egg white was more of a texture thing for me I think. It tasted more smooth which may have helped the sugar dissolve into the drink quicker with the acidity of the lemon but it was a great drink which I would drink quite a bit when the weathers warm which is rare within Leeds.

We had two canapes which were served in little mouth sized spoons so it was more of a pop in the mouth moment. The first one was Onion Three Ways from what I remember but I may be completely wrong. This one had Onion Bhaji, Onion Puree and Red Wine Onions. I love Onions so this was an amazing canape for me. The crispy bhaji against the softness of the red wine onions against the smooth puree made it an incredible dish, I had quite a few of these from what I remember. The second canape was a homemade Duck Pastrami with an Orange and Walnut Salad. Now, I know what you're thinking. Classic Duck a la Orange in a different way therefore it will still taste disgusting... You're wrong! This canape was amazing. The succulent duck against the crunchy nuts and smooth dressing made an delicious combination. I'm not a big fan of Walnuts so that was the only problem but they were provided for crunch which I liked... The orange was there but it wasn't overpowering therefore it let the Duck do it's own thing. I also had a few of these from what I remember. There was also a third canape which was Goats Cheese and Beetroot which I didn't try because I'm sometimes a bit particular with Cheeses and other reasons which I may touch on later on in the post.

Another round of drinks came around the table and this time it was Mojito. I went to grab Luke one but the lovely member of staff had already put one down on the table for him so I ended up having two which made up for not grabbing a cocktail the first time round. I love mojitos and they always remind me of Summer no matter what. This one had a 3 year old Rum, Sugar, Lime and Mint. It was perfect. Sometimes restaurants make different versions of mojitos which I also love but I absolutely adore drinking the original yet perfect Mojito. I ended up stuffing a sprig of mint in my pocket because I wanted to keep smelling the mint on the train home...

We were then served a started of Braised Pig Cheeks with a Pork Pie puree, Sweet & Sour Apple and a Crackling Salad. I am sure The Black Swan are amazing when they think of the textures of every dish they produce. The succulent cheeks as they were poached went really well with the puree and salad. We all know Apples and Pork go amazing together so I don't really need to comment about that part. The salad created a crunch element and lifted the dish as a whole. The cheeks kind of tasted like Beef somehow and it caused the mind to be confused for a while but it was an excellent dish with a great presentation. I am still confused how the cheeks tasted like Beef though.

The members of staff then came around with some Black Swan Burgers. These consisted of a Beef and Bone Marrow patty, Baby Gem Lettuce, Pickled Cabbage, Heirloom Tomato, Wholegrain Mustard Mayo and then topped with a Beer and Sesame Bun and a Beer Battered Gherkin/'Pickle'. We asked for plates which were saved for later on so the members of staff brought out the platter board with some on so any mess went onto the board. The burger patty was so succulent which is probably from the Bone Marrow but contrasted with the crispiness of the lettuce and the juice from the tomato made it amazing. The mayo made the whole thing amazing but didn't overwhelm you via the mustard. The pickled cabbage added a bit of sourness to cut through the meat. It was all amazing but the main star of the burger was the Beer Batterfed Gherkin for me. It just added some crunch and a bit of tang. I could have eaten all of them that were on the board in front of me...

As there was a vegetarian on our table, she couldn't have much up to this point except the canapes. The next dish that was presented to us was Pumpkin Tortelloni with a Pumpkin Puree, Roasted Butternut Squash and a few other things. Now like the stereotypical student, I inhale pasta so I felt like I was going to love this which was true, Pumpkin is a main Italian filling for pasta as it gives a sweet yet savoury taste to the pasta. The Tortelloni was amazing and the squash that went along with it was tender. This is literally Autumn in a dish and I would if I could have this most days as lunch. The only problem for some is if you're not keen on Butternut Squash then this might not be the dish for you.

The meat came back onto the table in the form of Confit Pork Belly with Chorizo, BBQ Baby Corn and some other things. I love anything that is Confit because it just falls off the bone and is so tender. It is slightly fattening but worth it from time to time. The texture of this against the crisp tender baby corn was amazing. I love Chorizo so that was an added bonus for me but I loved this. If you don't like Pork then this may not be for you but every component was amazing on its own and then when blended together it all just created a decadent yet divine dish.

Some Steamed Mussels came around but I was the only one who ate them on the table and I didn't want to look fat in front of other people so I passed on them. If I was on my own then I probably would grab them off the member of staff and end up looking like a monster from the White Wine sauce but I may come back and try them on my own sometime...

All the savoury food had now been consumed so it was time for the sweet treats! We had an Ale Cheesecake which was topped with a Salted Caramel Peanut Brittle and Nutella Powder. First of all before I say anything else, where the hell do you get Nutella Powder from because I think i need it in my life right now. The Ale Cheesecake was an homage to Yorkshire I think just from the Ale. The Ale did give a sort of dark flavour to the cheesecake which cut through the Cream Cheese. The Salted Caramel Peanut Brittle gave a salt element to the dish but also gave some texture to it as everything is soft in a cheesecake except the crumbly base so something like a brittle went well with this dish, If you're not a big fan of ale or strong flavours such as dark chocolate then you might not love this dish but it was something different and I think I could eat it every now and again.

The last dish was so Autumnal it could have had brown leaves falling from it. This one was an Apple Crumble Creme Brulee. Now I love Apple Crumble and I love Creme Brulee so mixing the two together is amazing in my eyes. It had a creamy filling with cubes of soft Apple hidden within the white silky layers of the cream but then it also had a slightly buttery granola type crumble topping which made it amazing. I feel like if they had done the creamy layer and added the crumble pieces into the cream somehow like an Eton Mess then done a layer of burnt sugar on top then it would be amazing. It was an amazing dish but I just didn't get the Creme Brulee element. It was styled like a Creme Brulee but didn't have brulee bit. It was still amazing and so Autumnal. I would have it again but I could see myself having it with a Hot Chocolate maybe or if I was having a cocktail then maybe something with Green Apple Vodka in...

Anyways, I loved trying out the Autumn Menu at The Black Swan. I tried something new in the form of Pork Cheek and I had a wonderful time meeting and talking to new people. I enjoyed it so much to the point that I may return soon. Thank you to all the staff at Black Swan and all the PR staff who put on this event!

If you're a student like me and are always up for a good discount then The Black Swan is for you as they have an offer on where if you book within the next two weeks, you will get 50% off your menu bill... It's seriously worth it!

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post. Have you been to Black Swan before? Have you tried their Autumn menu yet? Let me know in the comments below! I hope to see you next time for another blog post!

Book your reservations and check out the rest of the menu at:

Jamie x

Friday 2 October 2015

Let's Learn With Alcohol | The Botanist History Of Ale Masterclass Event | Leeds


A couple of weeks ago, I went into Leeds as I was invited by the guys at The Botanist to an event.

When I arrived in Leeds with Luke after college, we went to Trinity Leeds as I had some time to kill. We went on our phones and waited for the lovely Kariss to arrive. She met us at our normal spot which is Caffe Nero because I end up there at least once a week to either make use of their seating or to get a drink normally via O2 Priority Moments.

We wandered around Trinity until we realised where it was and made our way to the restaurant. (If you're wanting to go there then it's near the Burger King from what I remember which means that it's literally a stepping stone from the train station._

The Botanist is a laid back and unique bar and restaurant that are dotted all around the UK. The bar alone stocks over 40 bottled beers and ciders. They also stock an amazing variety of ales and create some interesting cocktails! The restaurant has a deli menu sort of vibe going on with rotisserie and barbecue elements going on as well. They serve amazing things such as create your own deli boards and Hanging Chicken Skewers that are slightly dripping with delicious flavoured butter.  There is always some great live music within The Botanist which makes it the best place to go on a night out and as it's the sister to The Alchemist you already know that it's going to be amazing.

We went down some very gardenesque steps into the establishment and waited for a woman to come up to us. Kariss sorted that out as I don't really do well when it comes to talking sometimes... She guided Kariss to the table which myself and Luke followed. We sat ourselves down at the table and ordered a gullible small Pepsi as I didn't think I would need it that much as the ales would be mainly drunk but I drink like a fish when it comes to either water/fruit juices/pop so I instantly felt like I should have ordered a large.

I talked to Laura about some of the things and where we lived as we found out that one of her relatives or in laws live near me. Once we had finished talking, Kiran who was the host of the masterclass told us about what was going to happen. He explained that it was going to a masterclass all about the history of ales. We would learn about all things ale/beer and learn that different ales/beer comes from different places within the world and what that does to the drink. We would learn about some of the current trends which could mould the future of drinking.

The first beer that we tried was Schlenkerla Marzen. Not the easiest of beers to pronounce but this one was the best one to start off with. It was quite dark from what I remember and tasted quite strong. The aroma of the drink reminded me of BBQ sauce which sounds weird but would work well when enjoying a barbecue... It tasted quite strong but had a resemblance to Smoked Ham... I think this is one of those beers that you will love or hate. If you like dark chocolate or red wine then you will probably love this. I could only drink so much of this as the strongness was slightly a bit too much after a while.

The second one that we tried Saison Due Pont. This one is Belgium whereas Schlenkerla Marzen is from Germany. Historically, Saisons didn't share enough characteristics to pin down as a specific style so they were classed more as a group of refreshing ales. Each brewer made their ale slightly different and this one is based off the Dupont Brewery's classic. This one was quite light compared to the first one which I loved. If you're not a massive beer drinker then you may love this one too. 

We then drank Lindermans, Cuveé Rene Gueuze. This one is also from Belgium. This one contains a mixture of old and young Lambic beers which are made via wild yeast which creates a sour flavour. It is considered to be the champagne of beer styles. It was slightly too sour for my liking which meant that I couldn't drink a lot of it but you could tell that it had a spring to its step from the wild yeast. 

Einstock Toasted Porter was our next beer. This one was from Iceland. The beer has notes of dark chocolate and espresso which makes the drink slightly robust yet distinctive. I don't mind dark chocolate now and again and the same with coffee therefore I could drink a little bit of this one but as I said with the first one. If you love dark chocolate and things like that then you will love this one! 

A short trip to England was next! Ticketybrew is a Dubbel ale that comes from England. This one was created on Valentines Day in 2013 so you can tell that it has love pumping all the way through it. It had a nice taste from what I remember and I could drink a lot more of it compared to the first one. It's great to know that England are knocking up things of their own and not depending solely on imported drinks. 

Around this time from what I remember, food came out just to ensure that the palate could have some contrast in textures and flavours as the palate may be used to the taste of hops which is an essential in any ale/beer therefore the lovely staff brought around some delicious food which included Calamari which was crispy yet delicious which is sometimes hard to achieve. There were also Cumberland and Pork Chipolata's which were succulent and Salt & Pepper Onion Petals which were divine and crunchy! There were Camembert which I didn't eat because lactose and everything.

The next one was Left Hand, Nitro Milk Stout. Yes you heard that right, Nitro Milk Stout. This one contains Lactic Acid which reacts with the air to give a milky finish to the drink. This one has notes of vanilla, mocha and milk chocolate. I decided to try a tiny bit of it and it was nice. It was very creamy and something I would drink every now and again if Lactose didn't react badly with me. The thing with this drink to make it Nitro is the way you pour it. You have to pour it straight down and let it flow as fast as it can into the glass to get a frothy head on the drink. Kiran was telling us all how many bottles have been wasted at the Leeds The Botanist branch due to pouring it incorrectly.

The second to last ale was Sierra Navanda Pale Ale. Along with the Nitro Milk Stout comes from USA. Pale Ale used to be mainly a home brewers sort of thing but then slowly inspired bigger brewers to adapt this sort of thing and create their own pale ales. This particular one was pine and grapefruit aromas making it a light drink but with a little bit of character. I liked this one as it was quite light but made me think of sophiscated al fresco dining.

The final one! We ended on an English high with Gamma Ray from Beavertown. Gamma Ray has a bold name and with this name comes bold flavours. Slightly sweet caramel malt is the base of this drink which you notice at first but then after a few seconds ray guns come out and fire citrus flavours at your taste buds making it an amazing drink. I love citrus fruits and citrus flavoured drinks so this one was the best one ever for me. I want to drink this all the time and this drink is made for all the days when the weather is actually good and sunny.

I didn't get much pictures to the end as my phone was dying so I hope you don't mind that.

The masterclasses are £20 per person and it is worth every penny. I was talking to Laura and she said that the masterclasses are made for when people end up coming up to Leeds to visit family or when people come from cities near Leeds for many reasons and want to learn some of the Yorkshire culture or want to learn something and have a good time.

I can't thank The Botanist for inviting me along to this masterclass as I learnt quite a bit. I'd like to thank Laura and Kiran for putting on an amazing night and coping with us bloggers with all of our cameras and taking photos (except me as I forgot my camera so I took my photos via my iPhone.) and thank you to Kariss, Faith and everyone else at the event.

Have you tried any of the drinks mentioned above? If so then let me know down below. Have you been to The Botanist? Let me know down below. I hope that you have enjoyed this blog post and I hope to see you next time for another blog post.

Check Out The Botanist Here:
Check Out Kariss Here:
Check Out Faith Here:

Please drink responsibly.

Jamie x